This Player Can’t Stop Scoring and 2 Other Things That Happened Over the Weekend
So Leicester City FC striker Jamie Vardy broke English Premier League record, scoring in 11 consecutive matches. Ruud van Nistelrooy previously held the record for 10 consecutive games when he played for Manchester United FC. But for Nigeria, while it is not about record-setting-or-breaking, the singular fact a Nigerian got on the score sheet for his club is more thrilling.
Here’s a review of 3 sporting events that got the buzz across Nigeria, over the weekend:
1. Niger Tornadoes FC of Minna, Niger state, on Sunday, won the 2014/15 NNL Super 4 championship after defeating Plateau United FC of Jos, Plateau state, 1-0. The lone goal was scored by Lukman Mohammed when he converted a penalty kick at 75th minute of the game.
The Nigeria National League (NNL), which is Nigeria’s version of the new English Football League (formerly The Championship), held its annual end of season Super 4 tournament.
Played at the National Stadium Abuja, the tourney is designed to decide the overall winner of this year’s abridged football league season of the NNL. Other participating teams include MFM FC and Ikorodu United. The game between the two Lagos-based clubs was decided by penalties with the game ending in a 2-2 deadlock at regulation time.
The tournament began on Friday with the finale on Sunday. All four teams had previously gained promotion to the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
2. Super Eagles and Watford FC striker Odion Ighalo, got on the score-sheet for the Watford on Saturday against Aston Villa at Villa Park. Ighalo’s goal opened the floodgate of goals to follow with the Nigerian striker crucially involved in all 3 goals scored by his side.
Although Aston Villa pulled 2 goals back, it clearly was not enough to earn new manager Rémi Garde at least a point.
3. Nigeria’s U-23 team scraped a 3-2 win over the U-23 team of Mali in their first Group B encounter hosted in Senegal, for an Olympic ticket in Rio next year. Two goals from Junior Ajayi and one from Usman Mohammed in the first half seemed enough to get a win.
Mali on the other hand, gave Nigeria a scare, starting the second half in boisterous fashion pulling back 2 goals after a delightful team play. Sadly, it was not to be adequate for the Malians who lie bottom of Group B table with no point.
Reacting to the win by a whiskers, coach Samson Siasia of Nigeria said "It was a difficult match. We played very well in the beginning and scored three goals." Siasia adds: "The defenders made two mistakes which cost us, and they (Mali) scored twice. The defenders panicked and they (Mali) almost equalized. I guess we were lucky to escape."
The other teams in Group B, Egypt and Algeria, played out a 1-1 draw, keeping them second and third on the table, respectively. Nigeria face Egypt in their next group fixture on Wednesday, while Mali locks horns with Algeria, same day.
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